Stay Insane – All of You

July 30, 2011


How disappointing it is to be doing this final run home. We are all reflective about how we feel about that, resigned to the work and study that has to be done but still riding on the magic of the last week and the intimate camaraderie that we have enjoyed. The run was straightforward until we got to Bathurst at which point Rod decided a gluteus maximus cramp  necessitated another walk around – and a ride on a small horse-like toy in a playground. The cramp must have been serious as the horse threw him. Read more

His Majesty’s Pleasure

July 30, 2011

I heard an interesting challenge propositioned to a gathering yesterday. In the movie Chariots of Fire the character playing  Olympic gold medal winner Eric Liddell is trying to assure his fretting sister he remains committed to his call to China. He tells Jenny “I believe that God made me for a purpose. But He also made me fast, and when I run, I feel His pleasure.” We were challenged to replace Eric’s “I run” with our own activity/calling/passion from which we might also feel His pleasure. I found it an interesting challenge for it tests how much we do for our own pleasure. I rolled a few options around in my head last evening and slept on it but settled on what I intuitively knew was the right answer: “I run” should be replaced with “create opportunities for others”.

IT Company Keeps a Promise?!

July 29, 2011

So you think I am writing fiction? Maybe I am. But something went pear shaped with this blogsite when I was in Africa. The more I chased the problem the worse it seemed to get. Introduce these guys who said they would check it out (even though it was not their problem) and twenty minutes later… here we are back again. Shameless plug for Matt and John at Com Connect but they really are that good.

Penultimate Day

July 20, 2011

group290.jpgSaturdayOur departure day last year was marked by a lashing southerly wet wind blowing out of the Antarctic fridge, forcing us to huddle our farewells to Joy before hitting the road and sliding up the greasy track out of here. No such day to day. A gorgeous sunny, mild morning greets us. Rod has sorted most of the kitchen last evening so we have a head start this morning. Everyone is packed surprisingly quickly, Frank arrives when he said he would and we start rushing about to be finished by nine. The promise is a “shoot” if we are done by then. Read more

Flat Out Like a Lizard Drinking

July 17, 2011


The sun creeps up the wall through the pattern of the window frame shadow and I watch it for twenty minutes before getting up. Andrew has been awake the whole time but remained in his sleeping bag until my feet touched the floor at which point he launched into his new day.  Last night  the “idiot talk” went long into the early hours so there will be some slower starts this morning. Myself included actually. 

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Things That Go Bump in the Night

July 17, 2011


Damn. Thursday already. The place is slowly, oh so slowly stirring into life with the soft rumble of the kettle, the scratching whisk as Rod makes up the powdered milk for the day, the vacant slurp of cereal as the first half asleep (actually mostly asleep) crew ease down at the table and start to refuel and the stir of spoons in coffee cups. We have the most gorgeous winter morning. The sky is clear, there is no frost and no wind. Hard to believe it is winter actually. Last year we were treated to three or four degrees of frost each morning which then yielded to fine, clear days. This year the wind has been cutting us up. But this morning we are being thoroughly spoilt. A fine day means we will start with cactus killing. And its all the sweeter for starting with porridge drowned in cream and christened with brown sugar.

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It’s Only the Depth that Varies

July 16, 2011


The grey cloud and still morning suggested rain but nothing of the sort. Instead the wind sprung up and whipped its cold arms around us from breakfast time on. Joy had rounded up a merino the night before and it was waiting for us after breakfast – a lesson in butchery which most were able to handle. It’s an instructional session that includes a revelation in anatomy that is far more enlightening than any text book. We poked around  in the offal and opened things up and explained this and that much to the intrigue and horror of some.  We cut it up more quickly than we should but it still cooked okay at the end of the day.

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Jim’s Invitation

July 14, 2011

book-cover290.jpg(A piece written earlier this year).



 had not written to Jim, that I could recall, for him to ever send me anything in return. More to the point he passed away in 1980 so I thought the spidery scrawl on the expensive, semi translucent wedding paper envelope was some sort of prank. I had gone to bed, not at my usual late hour but at a respectable time.  As I drifted off I realized I had not collected the mail for the day so I swung myself out of bed and walked outside. It was the only piece of correspondence in the box. 

Click here for the complete short story. Jim’s-Invitation.pdf


I’ll Do Anything*

July 12, 2011


The Milky Way washed its billion star light over us last night, unchallenged by any fading moon. What a remarkable sight that catches our imagination every time we come out into the desert. But it is was a cool night without any cloud cover, threatening frost but not quite getting there as the wind wound itself up and started to hammer in hard from the west. We have woken slowly this morning but to a strong wind that will chill us all day. But no rain which is a blessing too of course. Yesterday’s work has slowed everyone and the clock ticks towards eight o’clock with very little movement from the sleeping bags. Dylan has made me coffee and delivered one to Rod who is still in bed too. Here comes Andrew, perpetual early riser but a hard sleeper this morning. There is nothing quite like a bit of open air work to ensure a good nights sleep.

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Let’s Do the Time Warp

July 11, 2011


Up  at o’dark o’clock. Crystal clear morning, steel coloured sky and fading stars. No frost but the breeze is up. I load up and head out looking for yabbie bait and something for the pot this evening. The search is futile and the team is gathered here at the end of the day cooking vegetable soup! Any protein running around this property managed to get away from me, much to my chagrin. Still, it has been a good day. We spent the morning emptying a time capsule of a shed so we could reorganize it and make more room for various farm implements and resources. This property was purchased in 1893 and there were fragments of  that original purchase scattered through the back of the shed.

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